Master of Laws (Research)

Why study the Master of Laws (Research) at UNE?

The University of New England is committed to maintaining its strong research culture, underpinned by high research training standards. The Master of Laws (Research) Rules provide the framework for one of the University's AQF Level 9 awards. They provide the rigorous processes that are essential for the maintenance of academic quality and integrity in the University's operations, and that reflect the University's values of providing a formative, respectful, inclusive, flexible and innovative environment for the delivery of high quality research training for its candidates.

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Degree Snapshot

DURATION

1 Year Full-time
Up to 4 years Part-time

FEES

RTS
International

2017 STUDY OPTIONS
Armidale

Research Period 1, Off Campus
Research Period 1, On Campus
Research Period 2, Off Campus
Research Period 2, On Campus

Official Abbreviation LLM
Course Type Postgraduate Research
CRICOS Code 051776G
Commencing
Responsible Campus Admission Period Mode of Study
Armidale Research Period 1 Off Campus
Armidale Research Period 1 On Campus
Armidale Research Period 2 Off Campus
Armidale Research Period 2 On Campus
Course Duration
  • 1 Year Full-time
  • Up to 4 years Part-time
Fees RTS / International
Total Credit Points 48
How to Apply

All students apply directly to Research Services at UNE using Research Services admission form(s)

For more information, click here

Entry Requirements

1. Admission to candidature in the degree of Master of Laws (Research) may be provided by the Committee only when the Head of School has:

(a) certified that the necessary facilities and appropriate support for the applicant undertaking the proposed LLM program are available; and

(b) nominated an appropriate Principal Supervisor and co-supervisor(s) in accordance with Rule 4.

2. The Committee may, on the recommendation of the relevant Head of School, admit to candidature into the course for the degree of Master of Laws (Research) an applicant who:

(a) hold a degree of Bachelor with at least second class honours (AQF Level 8) or (AQF Level 9 Masters or AQF Level 10, in Law); or

(b) hold a degree at AQF Level 7 or AQF Level 9 Masters in law leading to admission to legal practice and the equivalent of at least two years full-time, documented, relevant professional experience.

3. All applicants must meet the University's English Language Requirements for Admission Rule .

Advanced Standing

A candidate may be granted advanced standing for LLM500 either where this unit was successfully completed towards a postgraduate qualification or through other significant learning which the Head of School considers equivalent to LLM500.

Academic Colours

Ultramarine (BCC 148)

Further Information

Please contact Research Services on (02) 6773 3715 or for online information go to AskUNE

These course rules & plans are ONLY to be used if you commenced, transferred or changed versions in the Master of Laws (Research) in 2017.
Untitled Document

1. Admission

1.1. Admission to candidature in the degree of Master of Laws (Research) may be approved by the Committee only when the Head of School has:
(a) certified that the necessary facilities and appropriate support for the applicant undertaking the proposed LLM program are available; and
(b) nominated an appropriate Principal Supervisor and co-supervisor(s) in accordance with Rule 5.

1.2. The Committee may, on the recommendation of the relevant Head of School, admit to candidature into the course for the degree of Master of Master of Laws (Research) an applicant who:
(a) hold a degree of Bachelor with at least second class honours (AQF Level 8) or (AQF Level 9 Masters or AQF Level 10, in law); or
(b) hold a degree at AQF Level 7 or AQF Level 9 Masters in law leading to admission to legal practice and the equivalent of at least two years full-time, documented, relevant professional experience.

1.3. All applicants must meet the University’s English Language Requirements for Admission Rule.

2. Course Requirements

Candidates must pass 48 credit points comprising:
(a) LLM500; and
(b) LLM522 (a dissertation of not more than 35 000 words excluding appendices).

3. Period of Candidature

3.1. The minimum period of candidature is one year (two years for part-time candidates), unless otherwise approved by the Committee.
3.2. The maximum period of candidature is normally two years (four years for part-time candidates), extensions may be granted by the Committee.
3.3. For applicants upgrading from another course the maximum period of candidature is reduced by the period of enrolment in the course from which the candidate has changed.
3.4. For applicants transferring from an equivalent course in another institution the maximum period of candidature permitted to be completed at that institution is half of the maximum period specified in Rule 3.2.

4. Conditions of Candidature

4.1. Each LLM candidate is required to consult regularly with his or her supervisors. This may be either in person or using ICT, including video. The supervisors and the Head of School will determine the nature and extent of such consultation after consultation with the candidate.
4.2. The candidate is required to complete an academic progress report every 6 months.
4.3. The Committee, on the advice of the Head of School, may grant leave of absence from the course of study and research in special cases. The period of such leave shall not be counted as part of the prescribed term of candidature.
4.4. The nature and extent of the consultation between the candidate and University supervisors(s) will be appropriate.
4.5. A candidate may be required to show cause in relation to their performance in the program, consistent with the Higher Degree Research Show Cause Policy and Procedures.

5. Supervisors - Nomination, Appointment and Responsibilities

5.1. The Head of School must nominate at least two supervisors of the candidate, for appointment by the Committee.
5.2. One supervisor shall be nominated as Principal Supervisor and the remaining as Co-supervisors.
5.3. Principal and Co-supervisors must comply with the Registration of Research Higher Degree Supervisors Policy and Procedures.
5.4. The nomination of supervisor will include an estimate of the expected percentage input from each supervisor.
5.5. The Committee, on the recommendation of the Head of School, may recommend termination of candidature, if it is satisfied that the University can no longer provide appropriate supervision. In such circumstance, the University will provide any necessary administrative assistance to the candidate to facilitate the transfer to another institution.
5.6. The candidate has the right to request a change of supervisor. Such a request must be submitted to the Head of School, who after consultation will provide the Committee with a recommendation and nomination of alternative supervisor for approval.

6. Examination Process

6.1. Submission Requirements

6.1.1. The candidate shall present for examination a thesis in a format approved by the Committee embodying the results of the LLM work.
6.1.2. The thesis, exclusive of appendices, shall not exceed 35,000 words. In special cases these limits may be exceeded on the recommendation of the Principal Supervisor and Head of School and approval of the Committee.
6.1.3. A thesis must be in English unless the Committee has approved otherwise.
6.1.4. The sources from which the information is derived, the extent to which the work of others has been used and to which the assistance of individuals, associations or institutions has been obtained, must be acknowledged generally in a preface or introduction, specifically in notes, a bibliography or appendices, and must be, throughout the thesis, shown clearly and fully by appropriate references.
6.1.5. The candidate may not present as the thesis any work that has been the basis of the award of a degree at this or another university.
6.1.6. The candidate and supervisors will ensure compliance with the Management and Storage of Research Data and Materials Policy.
6.1.7. The candidate shall submit to the Committee the thesis in digital format and three hard copies. If the thesis has multi-media components, four copies of such components must also be submitted along with clear instructions as to their usage as well as a listing of computer hardware, software and other requirements needed by examiners and other readers of the work. All multimedia components must be accessible by examiners.
6.1.8. At the time of thesis submission, the Principal Supervisor shall submit certification to the Committee that the supervisors and Head of School consider the form and content of the thesis suitable for examination.
6.1.9. The Committee may, in exceptional circumstances, accept for examination a thesis without the certification of the Principal Supervisor and/or the Head of School. The examiners will not be advised that the thesis was submitted without School support.

6.2. Thesis Examination Process

6.2.1. Prior to the submission of a thesis the Head of School and Principal Supervisor must recommend to the Committee the names of two examiners and a reserve third examiner, selected from a pool of at least four potential examiners, assembled through consultation between the Principal Supervisor, the candidate and all current supervisors. The Committee makes the final appointment. The candidate will not be given any indication of the final set of examiners that have been recommended and appointed.
6.2.2. At least one of the actual examiners must be an independent expert in the field who is external to the University and to any collaborating institution involved in the work. The Head of School or Principal Supervisor, as appropriate, will obtain written or email consent from each examiner excepting the reserve, to examine the thesis within 8 weeks of receipt.
6.2.3. The appointment of additional examiners, if required during the examination process will be made from the original pool of examiners, unless otherwise instructed by the Committee.
6.2.4. Each examiner shall make a separate written report on the merits of the thesis, but thereafter may be required to consult with the other examiners and report to the Committee. Each examiner will be requested to provide his or her report within eight weeks of receipt of the thesis. If an examiner fails to provide his or her report. The Committee, after consultation with the Head of School, may notify the examiner that his or her services are no longer required and the reserve examiner may then be appointed.

6.3. Thesis Examination Outcomes

6.3.1. Taking into account the recommendations of the examiners, the Committee may:

(a) recommend that the degree be awarded;
(b) recommend that the degree be awarded conditional upon the making of such amendments as the Committee deems appropriate;
(c) request the examiners to consult and report to the Committee;
(d) appoint an additional examiner or examiners;
(e) appoint an external adjudicator who shall consider the examiners’ reports in light of the thesis and recommend a resolution to the Committee;
(f) require the candidate to sit for such written, oral or practical examinations as the Committee may prescribe;
(g) permit a candidate to revise the thesis for re-examination if, in the opinion of the Committee the work is of sufficient merit to warrant this concession;
(h) recommend that the degree be not awarded.

6.3.2. A candidate awarded the degree in terms of Rule 6.3.1(b) shall complete the amendments within three months for minor amendments and six months for major amendments. These will be made to the satisfaction of the Principal Supervisor and the relevant Head of School.
6.3.3. A candidate permitted to revise a thesis for re-examination in terms of Rule 6.3.1(g) shall complete the revision within 9 months under the supervision of a Principal Supervisor or supervisors endorsed by the Committee.
6.3.4. A candidate who has revised and resubmitted a thesis in terms of Rule 6.3.1(g) and the outcome is that the degree not be awarded shall only be eligible for a further examination through an appeal under the Academic Assessment Appeals Policy.
6.3.5. An external adjudicator will only be appointed by the Committee if the two examiners are unable to come to a consensus recommendation. The adjudicator will be required to consider the examiners’ reports and the thesis and recommend a resolution. If the adjudicator recommends that the candidate’s thesis be revised and resubmitted, then the adjudicator will serve as the sole examiner for the resubmitted thesis.

6.4. Process Upon Recommendation of 'Degree Not Be Awarded'

6.4.1. Where any examination, adjudication or consultation report is received by the Committee, on which basis the Committee is considering recommending that the candidate not be awarded the degree pursuant to 6.3.1(h), the candidate and his or her principal supervisor shall be notified in writing of the content of that report and the principal supervisor and the candidate may within 8 weeks lodge a response to the committee, limited to the academic and substantive matters raised therein.
6.4.2. The Principal Supervisor’s and the candidate’s responses may then be sent to the examiners who shall be invited to provide a comment on the impact of those responses on their original recommendations.
6.4.3. The Committee shall take into account the submissions of the Principal Supervisor and/or candidate, and any comments on these from the examiners, in determining whether the degree be awarded.

6.5. Appeals against decisions of the Committee concerning academic assessment of Master of Laws Research candidates

Candidates have the right of appeal against an unfavourable examination outcome described in Rule 6.3.1 and may appeal under Section 1.8(g) of the Academic Assessment Appeals Policy and Section 10 of the Academic Assessment Appeals Procedures.

7. Upgrade to Doctor of Philosophy

Candidates who are undertaking research which, in the view of the principal supervisor, is approaching PhD standard, may apply to be upgraded into the three-year PhD program. In such cases, the principal supervisor shall forward to the Committee, through the Head of School, a request for upgrade along with any supporting evidence.

The Committee will wish to see either explicit evidence of refereed research publications by the candidate or reviews of at least two thesis chapters before considering a request to upgrade from the Master of Laws Research to PhD. The reviews shall be carried out by two reviewers, one who may be internal and one who must be external to the University. Each reviewer should have a doctoral degree or equivalent. Any application for an upgrade with evidence attached must be endorsed by the principal supervisor and Head of School and forwarded to Committee, following one year equivalent full-time candidature and not exceeding 18 months full-time candidature, to ensure enough candidature is left to continue on into the PhD. The Committee will determine the appropriate period of PhD candidature, should the upgrade be approved.

8. Advanced Standing

A candidate may be granted advanced standing for LLM500 either where this unit was successfully completed towards a postgraduate qualification, or through other significant learning which the Head of School considers equivalent to LLM500.

 

Course Aims

The Master of Laws (Research) aims to enable candidates to develop and deepen their knowledge and advanced research skills through undertaking legal research on a significant legal topic in a scholarly dissertation, either for academic or professional purposes. The course also aims to provide candidates with theoretical knowledge and relevant advanced research methodologies for conducting advanced research in a specialised area of law, including legal theory, corporate law, comparative law, biotechnology and intellectual property law, human rights, international law or legal history or interdisciplinary studies of law and policy.

Learning Outcomes Upon completion of this course, students will be able to:
  1. demonstrate advanced skills in research analysis and the written or oral communication of complex ideas;
  2. demonstrate comprehensive knowledge of legal theories in a chosen area of law or interdisciplinary studies in law and critical examination of the relationship between those theories and contemporary legal and social problems;
  3. demonstrate advanced knowledge of, and an ability to apply, selected methodological approaches to legal research in order to identify and critically analyse complex legal and policy problems;
  4. apply higher-level legal writing, research and communication skills in order to apply the results of their specialised knowledge effectively for resolving contemporary legal and social problems; and
  5. demonstrate an advanced ability to undertake, interpret and develop a legal research project using appropriate principles and research techniques in order to produce a scholarly dissertation.
Graduate Attributes
Knowledge of a Discipline

Students are presented with appropriate scholastic, teaching and assessment experiences to enable them to develop and demonstrate a command of a comprehensive knowledge of legal theories in a chosen area of law or interdisciplinary studies in law and critical examination of the relationship between those theories and contemporary legal and social problems. Students are also taught to develop a comprehensive knowledge and legal skills for adopting an interdisciplinary and theoretical approach to research projects in order to achieve a more holistic understanding of law and its relationship with society.

Communication Skills

Students are taught and trained to demonstrate high-level scholarly written and oral communication skills which must be demonstrated in the final dissertation. The learning environment has been designed to facilitate student interaction and collaboration with their peers and for them to practise the skills of communicating effectively and confidently both orally and in writing.

Global Perspectives

Legal research questions of a dissertation are generally set in a global and national context. Students are taught and encouraged to take a global and international perspective in evaluating the law, legal theories and related public policy. To this end students are required to read academic literature and scholarly articles dealing with other jurisdictions and are challenged to engage in a comparative analysis. This will lead to a critical evaluation of the effectiveness of law and public policy in the global context.

Information Literacy

Students are taught advanced legal research methods including the use of relevant technologies, which provides them with the means to construct arguments, to present new considerations, and equips them with the ability to verify or refute the academic literature on a particular topic.

Life-Long Learning

The skills acquired and developed through research and problem solving will provide the students with self-motivated learning and research techniques for their future challenges.

Problem Solving

The primary focus of any legal and interdisciplinary research is on seeking legal and practical solutions to complex legal and social problems. This is critically and independently assessed through the written dissertation.

Social Responsibility

Students are encouraged throughout the course to reflect critically on the impact of the law on society, and at an individual level to conduct their research in an ethical manner and report thei findings responsibly.

Team Work

While students in this course are predominantly working independently, they are introduced to the collegial nature of research through their participation in the foundational unit on research methodology and theory. Students in this unit are encouraged to work in collaboration with their peers, engaging empathetically and insightfully with them, to achieve agreed outcomes.

How to Apply

Domestic Students

All students apply directly to Research Services at UNE using Research Services admission form(s)

For more information, click here

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